The Cleveland Browns surprised the average draft viewer Saturday when they spent a sixth-round pick on an offensive lineman of whom most had never heard.
Turns out, they also selected the draft's "most overlooked prospect," according to Sports Illustrated.
That same unknown element of the selection came to light Tuesday, when SI revealed the identity of Prospect X, the player the magazine believed was "the draft's best-kept secret." Who is Prospect X?
The MMQB's Kalyn Kahler profiled Forbes, removing his and his wife's names and replacing them with "Prospect X" and "significant other" in a piece published during last week's lead-up to the draft. Kahler chronicled his battle to become noticed from tiny Southeast Missouri State and his whirlwind of a pre-draft process -- "seven flights in two weeks to seven cities he'd never seen before" -- all while keeping Forbes' identity secret (even if the clues were there).
Kahler's well-written story also explores the attention to detail paid by Forbes during the process, which was essentially a series of incredibly important job interviews for a player who was likely on the radar of less than half of the NFL. That's not to discredit his ability, but to explain how vast the scouting landscape truly is.
Forbes did all of the little things well. He sent details for his workouts to each coach scheduled to attend and called to check on one who was running a few minutes late. He color-coordinated his ties with each team he was visiting. On his trip to visit the Browns -- one of their top-30 visits, if that gives you any indication of how much the team likes him -- Forbes ditched the tie because of the casual vibe he picked up on during dinner the night before.
That vibe was given by Browns offensive line coach James Campen, who went to dinner in gym shorts and a sweatshirt. Campen was also the one who gave the ringing endorsement that brought Forbes to the Browns.
“I’ve been taught from the school of ‘evaluate the evaluators,’” Browns general manager John Dorsey said in Kahler's story. “And I have utmost respect for James Campen’s evaluation skills. Once I got confirmation that Campen was on board, I was on board with him as well.”
Tuesday's reveal pulled back the curtain on these details and showed how Forbes’ small-town background is part of who he is.
"While in Cleveland, he passed Baker Mayfield in the hallway and was starstruck," Kahler writes. "Mayfield gave him a nod but X was too stunned to respond."
The piece also gave a sliver of insight into how far beneath the surface this Browns front office will look for prospects. If SI is right, they may have struck gold with Forbes.